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Miles Davis

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Miles Davis Live-Evil album cover
4.16 | 107 ratings | 8 reviews | 53% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1:

1. Sivad - 15:13
2. Little Church - 3:14
3. Medley: Gemini/Double Image - 5:53
4. What I Say - 21:09
5. Nem Um Talvez - 4:03

Disc 2:

1. Selim - 2:12
2. Funky Tonk - 23:26
3. Inamorata and Narration by Conrad Roberts - 26:29

total time 101:38

Line-up / Musicians

Miles Davis - Trumpet
Gary Bartz - Saxophone
John McLaughlin - Guitar
Keith Jarrett - Electric Keyboard
Michael Henderson - Bass
Jack DeJohnette - Drums
Airto Moreira - Percussion
Hermeto Pascoal - Percussion and Whistling
Ron Carter - Bass
Steve Grossman - Soprano Sax
Chick Corea - Organ
Herbie Hancock - Electric Piano and Organ
Dave Holland - Bass
Joe Zawinul - Electric Piano

Releases information

Recorded February 6, 1970 June 3, 1970 June 4, 1970 & December 19, 1970

2 x LP : Columbia G 30954( US/Canada), CBS S 67219 (Netherlands)

2 x CD : Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) SRCS 9123 (Japan), Columbia/ Legacy C2K 65135, 01-065135-10( Europe 1997), Columbia/Legacy C2K 65135, CK 65232 (US 1997)

Thanks to rocktopus for the addition
and to The Quiet One for the last updates
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Buy MILES DAVIS Live-Evil Music

MILES DAVIS Live-Evil ratings distribution

(107 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(53%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (9%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

MILES DAVIS Live-Evil reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars In some ways, this could be seen as BB's live pendant, and not just so because of its beautiful Klarwein artwork either. Recorded live after BB's release, when the jazz critics was getting vile and ignorant reviews on Miles' case, even attacking his private life, Miles was touring endlessly and quite a few of his shows were taped, although only a fraction saw the light of day, even if every night was fairly different due to the improvisational nature of the music. And to this writer, Live-Evil is probably the best of these performance, probably my faves, because they were the only ones that had a "non-posthumous quality" as it was released in 71, but the tracks are recorded from as early as Febr 6 to Dec 19 and as you'll easily guess there will be some lengths in almost of these jams, but surprisingly, there are also shorter numbers on this selection. One of the interesting thing is that most (all?) of the tracks selected have DeJohnette and Jarrett on the roster.

Savid (Davis in reverse) starts this double set on a rather BB nice note but quickly derails its course into improvs that remains accessible and not that dissonant. Little Church has the same feel but McL's guitar gets a major share of the front stage, and a bit further down (on its vinyl flipside), so will What I Say. Just to show how eclectic Miles' group was, the Gemini track has an Indian sitar player in the line-up in the name of Balakrishna.

The second disc starts unsurprisingly on the short Selim track (that's Miles in reverse) and before heading on two long improvs, the first is the 23-mins+ Funky Tonk, which again shows excellent McL guitars, and some baby wails made by either Grossman Miles or the newcoming Bartz, but there bass/drums duo is overstaying its welcome and it's with great relief that we hear Miles finally calling recess over. The second 27-mins Inamorata observes a bit the same patterns, making the album generally easier than both Fillmore releases.

You could eventually see a sort of filmed version of this album by watching Miles' appearance at the Isle of Wight of that year, a stunning set where they tear down the musical rules for the benefit of a new generation. But as said previously, every night was a new one and Live-Evil chooses to from a selection of tracks throughout 1970, and it is definitely the best Miles live album of that era.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This double album was released in 1971 and consists of 4 live tracks all recorded December 19,1970 at "The Cellar Door" in Washington,DC. The other 4 tracks are shorter and were recorded in the studio earlier that year with a different lineup.That lineup included Zawinul and Shorter who would then leave to form WEATHER REPORT, meanwhile Corea and Holland who are also on the studio tracks also left on their own accord and aren't on the live songs. Michael Henderson would come in to replace Holland, and Keith Jarrett would replace Corea. This would be Henderson's first work with Miles playing live. Jack DeJohnette on drums and Airto Moreira on percussion filled out this live lineup. Oh, except for a surprise guest John McLaughlin who hadn't played with this hand picked Miles band before. Of course he played with Miles countless times and fit right in like he never left. Gary Bartz would take over for Steve Grossman and Shorter on sax,playing both soprano and alto versions of that instrument.

Some interesting liner notes from Gary as well as he describes what it was like back then playing with Miles. He says "We were as intense as any Rock band i've ever heard and just as loud". He goes on to say "This was a healthy band, I had never seen Miles in better health. He was going to the gym regularly, eating a vegetarian diet, no cigarettes, alcohol or drugs. We had to be in good shape-this was demanding music...Our concerts used to last an average of two hours, non-stop".

I'm not a fan of the studio tracks to be honest except for "Medley : Gemni / Double Image". Mind you the other three studio tracks add up to less then 10 minutes so it's not a big deal.

"Sivad" is the first song on disc one and "Selim" the first tune on disc two.They spell Miles Davis backwards of course."Sivad" is an absolute funky blast. DeJohnette is just killer on the drums while Henderson does not feel out of place with his Motown funky grooves. Davis comes in just ripping it up. Amazing ! I feel like i'm being swarmed here, but in a good way. Haha. It starts to settle 3 minutes in as some piano and percussion and other sounds come and go. I like the trumpet and drum section that eventually follows. The crowd cheers after Miles stops before 9 1/2 minutes. McLaughlin takes his place as the drums continue.The guitar is intricate and complex. Piano takes over for the guitar then Miles is back as piano and drums continue. Bravo ! "Little Church" is a studio track that is laid back with some whistling believe it or not. "Medley : Gemni / Double Image" is another studio track. Some down and dirty guitar from John to open. Nice, really nice.Trumpet comes in then drums, piano and bass. This is fantstic ! By the way "Double Image" is a Zawinul composition. "What I Say" opens similar to the first track with drums and fat bass. Piano and percussion joins in. Great sound and rhythm. Trumpet after 3 minutes. Incredible sound. Guitar before 8 1/2 minutes as trumpet stops. A shred-fest from john before 11 minutes. Not worthy man. Piano then takes over. Impressive drum work after 14 minutes that turns into a solo a minute later. It kicks back in at 20 minutes. "Nem Um Talvez" is a short studio track that is mellow with sax (Grossman) and percussion.

Disc two starts with "Selim" a short studio track with laid back sax and sounds. It's pretty slow going. "Funky Tonk" opens with drums as bass piano and blasts of scorching trumpet come in. A change after 5 minutes as it settles somewhat and sax comes in. Gary is fantastic after 8 minutes and he gets a round of applause when he finishes. McLaughlin takes over, and by the 10 minute mark the guitar and drums are outstanding. It settles 14 minutes in and Miles is back 16 minutes in. A calm with piano a minute later. It kicks back in late with drums leading the way. "Inamorata and Narration" is the 26 1/2 minute closer. Nice funky start to this one. Check out Miles after 2 minutes. Alto sax after 3 1/2 minutes. Check out the sax before 7 minutes ! I like the way the drums come and go until it stays steady around 8 minutes. Guitar after 9 1/2 minutes. John ends up just wailing away and gets a round of applause when he's done. Bass takes over and keys join in as drums continue. Trumpet's back 14 1/2 minutes in. It's quite intense and then it settles after 16 1/2 minutes. It starts to build as trumpet and drums lead the way. Sax after 19 1/2 minutes. Some narration from Conrad Roberts after 23 minutes then we get a big finish.

Love the live tracks but the studio tunes drag this down some for me. Still 4 stars though for the incredible live music.

Review by Kazuhiro
4 stars "Bitches Brew" that Miles Davis had announced was a work that exactly left a lot of discussions and merits and demerits for the world of Jazz. It was in the situation in which not only Jazz before and behind the period that time but also various music accomplished the revolution. The creation of Miles Davis has advanced ahead in the flow with an exactly original methodology. And, they might already have presented the aspect that changed from heterodoxy to the main current.

To call the miracle indeed, the creation of Miles Davis in the 70's has left a lot of suitable works and the performances. And, the power of the music of Miles began to overflow with the idea at beginning of event of the 70's. To go forward, music to which it tried and erred in the latter the 60's might have contained an enough creation and the idea. The explosion becomes musical at which he should exactly aim and is being offered to the listener.

"Bitches Brew" also has the opinion made to have destroyed the form of Jazz. However, the musician and the character related to the creation and the recording that he did might be the well-known facts. The work left in his the 70's makes it pass his life through music to flow indeed naturally and to agree and make to the embodiment. nt..already..preparation..made.This "Live Evil" will be able to be enumerated in one of the parts where they were executed at an early stage.

Album Art of this album will surely associate a culture and a religious feeling of India. It is said that it is made from one "Siva" of the highest god of Hinduism and drawn. And, it is said the kind of of one it of "Yantra" that means sacred wave motion a surrounding pattern.

The concept that Miles Davis showed the concern is surely reflected in the performance. However, the performance and the idea that he has done up to now are digested to them and being offered to the listener as original music. The concept that Miles considered of course at that time appears in the arriving place. It surely associates "Siva" though opening "Sivad" of this album is a title that replaces spelling "Davis" oppositely. The soundscape of this tune, the part of Groove, and the dash feeling surely hear the idea and advancement as the performance. And, "Selim" is a title that replaces spelling "Miles". Of course, this "Live Evil" will be time sentence.

It performs to the point to have to make a special mention of this album with the member known by competing with Miles before. And, the perfection of ensemble to answer the creation of Miles. And, Bass player's Michael Henderson is excavated. Or, it competes with Keith Jarrett evaluated that the most wonderful in the musician who is related of Miles up to now. These elements might be conspicuous in the work of Miles in the 70's. And, the existence of John McLaughlin that guesses it was necessary to make the concept of this album an embodiment further might be also important. In addition, Khalil Balakrishna of the Sitar player who participated in this album corresponds to "Vishnu" of the god of Hinduism. These agreeing might almost apply to the element that Miles exactly thought about.

Strong power and dash feeling of "What I Say". And, the anacatesthesia of "Nem Um Talvez". Music might surely conceive the change and advancement. Many of the performance to which the concept of an electronic element was taken when performing in the early the 70's might be the well-known facts. It is possible to listen to those parts enough even by "Miles Davis At Fillmore". This album in the reaching flow might be important to "On The Corner" and enough in his Music's history.

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The title of this album predates the Sabbath one by over a decade. Technically a 'live' album, some of this was recorded in the studio. Generally the shorter tracks are pure studio whereas the longer tracks are mostly live with some studio parts thrown in. Due to this the line-up of musicians is numerous and confusing. You have Zawinul, Shorter, Cobham, Hancock and Corea before they went to do their own things. McLaughlin is here too but mainly as a session musician. You also get Brazilian jazz percussionist Airto Moreira and keyboardist Keith Jarrett, here using modified electric pianos and organs. In the not so distant future he would swear off using any electric keyboards at all.

Three of the pieces here were written by guest Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal, who also appears on those same tracks. This album features one of my favourite front covers of all time. Such a great piece of art. On the reverse is the opposite of the front which represents beauty: a fat ugly blond demon b*tch. Let's talk about the actual music itself shall we... Generally the mood here is funky and rockin' with lots of modified and altered electric pianos. Occasionally it mellows out and gets chamber-like with no percussion. It's hard to compare this to any other Davis album (studio or live), but it is similar stylistically to both Bitches Brew and A Tribute To Jack Johnson.

"Sivad" begins in funky jam rock territory. Things get cacophonous and noisy before mellowing out and calming down. Just after 4 minutes is an edit where it switches to a studio recording. This part is a slow moving vamp with some soloing over it. After 9 minutes another edit (the clapping gives it away) where the group is playing the exact same vamp at the exact same tempo! "Little Church" is avant-garde orchestral jazz with no drums. "Medley: Gemini/Double Image" starts out in blues-rock territory, not very far from early Zeppelin actually. Gets more dissonant and avant-jazzy.

"What I Say" begins with a terrific funky drumbeat, repetative bassline and melodic electric piano. Nice cowbell. Later the tempo picks up and Miles solos away. After some intense jamming McLaughlin starts to do a great solo. Later on what sounds like a flute solo. Then some electric piano soloing and a long, unaccompanied drum solo. The poor bass player doesn't get to solo but his bassline holds the whole piece together anyway. "Nem Um Talvez" is more avant-garde orchestral jazz similar to "Little Church."

"Selim" is yet more of the same which includes barely audible singing on all three tracks. "Funky Tonk" as you may have guessed, is on the funkier end of things. Some interesting complex drumming here. Nice dreamlike electric piano at one point. Things calm down and get less hectic during the sax solo. A type of repeated melody is played as the guitar solos. The guitar continues to solo away as all the other instruments start to get loose and improvised. During this part you hear some guy moaning or something. Another apparent edit leads to some very avant and dissonant playing from all involved.

The electric piano in particular is pretty crazy sounding. The bass player gets a chance to solo here, albeit a strange solo. Electric piano is the focus for awhile. Another electric piano or organ gets very rhythmic at times. Goes back to being funky at the end. "Inamorata and Narration" is probably the most avant-garde piece here. It starts off in funky jazz-rock mode with Miles soloing on his wah-wahed trumpet. The music gets looser and more improvised as it goes along. Another weird bass solo. Electric piano and percussion work around the bass as Miles enters again. Around 10 1/2 minutes is an edit to the studio.

The music is now some kind of slow-paced spacey avant-jazz-rock. More soloing from Miles. Good sax solo. After 23 minutes another edit. Now Conrad Roberts does narration as the band plays in the background with a wide stereo seperation. The narration is similar to what George Clinton would do on some later Funkadelic albums, which were influenced by electric Miles. One of Miles' better live albums with a great cover and a great title. Deserves 4 stars.

Review by stefro
5 stars We all know that Miles Davis is one of the great figures in Jazz, but for progressive rock fans it is his 1969 - 1975 'electric' period that really holds sway. After Tony Williams Lifetime kick-started the jazz-rock boom in 1967 Davis quickly took control of the movement, producing the elegant classic 'In A Silent Way' and the extraordinarily-innovative and epoch-defining 1969 masterpiece 'Bitches Brew' before the decade was out. The next five years would see the release of a series of groundbreaking albums that twinned the trumpeters jazz origins with elements of rock, soul and funk - both in the shape of studio sets and live concert recordings - and a clutch of jazz-rock outfits from both Britain and the USA following Davis' lead(the likes of John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return To Forever featuring Chick Corea and Ian Carr's Nucleus to name but a few). Of Davis' electric period albums 'Bitches Brew' remains his defining statement, yet the likes of 'Jack Johnson', 'Big Fun', 'Get Up With It' and 'On The Corner' also showcased the great man's seemingly neverending quest into the realms of sonic experimentation. This quest would also find Davis and his hugely-talented ensembles taking their musical findings into the live arena, and between 1970 and 1975 no less than seven double-albums, all of remarkable quality, were produced. 'Live Evil', which alongside 1974's incendiary 'Dark Magus', is often counted amongst the finest of these concert recordings, and it's easy to see(and hear) why. Thanks to the album's hypnotic melange of funk, avant-psych jazz and rumbling rock ingredients, 'Live Evil' captivates immediately, drawing the listener into the dark, mystical and occasionally dissonant world of Davis' genre-blending explorations. Featuring - of course - a stellar jazz line-up which includes amongst many others the likes of Keith Jarrett(keyboards), John McLaughlin(guitar), Chick Corea(keyboards), Dave Holland(bass), Herbie Hancocl(keyboards) and Jack DeJohnette(drums) 'Live Evil' continuously pulsates with an impassioned yet controlled fury that proves utterly engrossing. From the swirling lysergic intensity of 'Sivad' to the muscular funk-drenched strut of 'Funky Tonk', the shrieking soundwaves of 'What I Say' and the deep, brooding, neon-flecked glow of 'Inamorata', this is Miles Davis and company performing at their free-form apex. Just as essential as any of Davis' great records, 'Live Evil' captures this band of jazz explorers in searing midnight mode, fusing Hendrix-whipped acid rock, hot-toned fuzz jazz, slick- dipped soul tinges and Family Stone-styled funk excess in a way no-one thought truly possible. The jazz traditionalists hated it; history has proved them horribly wrong. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
Review by Neu!mann
2 stars This oddball hybrid from the recently electrified (and always electrifying) Miles Davis tried to recapture the serendipity of the previous year's "Bitches Brew" album, from the eye-popping gatefold artwork to the dizzy interchanging roster of A-List support talent. But the inconsistent assembly of concert tapes and aborted studio recordings, performed months apart throughout 1970, is too diffuse and unbalanced to be entirely satisfying.

Make no mistake, there's some thrilling music here, played (as always) with vigor, invention, and often pyrotechnic virtuosity. But all the artificial mirroring can't make a virtue of the album's schizophrenia: the Jekyll and Hyde title; Mati Klarwein's elaborate yin-yang cover illustration (that creature on the back was supposedly modeled after FBI kingpin J. Edgar Hoover); the twin tracks of "Sivad" and "Selim" (spell them backwards); and another selection pointedly named "Gemini/Double Image".

Most of the two-disc package is devoted to a live performance recorded on the final night of a four- day residence at The Cellar Door club in Washington D.C., with ace guitarist John McLaughlin joining the band for this one set. And once again the often exciting results suffer from post- production tampering, not unlike the bastardized 1970 "Live at Fillmore" LP. Bits and pieces of performance were removed or rearranged, in one instance ("Sivad") interpolated with studio work recorded seven months earlier. It's as if producer Teo Macero was trying to compose the album at the mixing desk, not trusting the unedited music to stand on its own merits.

The splices are much cleaner than in the mashed-up medleys of the Fillmore East record, released one year earlier. But the remaining excerpts, even when left alone for a stretch of twenty minutes (in "What I Say"), still can't match the accumulated drive and energy of the unviolated concerts, finally released almost 35-years later as "The Cellar Door Sessions". And the edits were dictated not by the music itself, as in "Bitches Brew", but by the limitations of vinyl technology, and the piecemeal nature of Davis' recording schedule.

The separate studio interludes sound a little lost by comparison: moody ambient orphans looking for a home of their own. And in retrospect the whole package lacks the focus and clarity of other Davis masterpieces. In 1971 the album would have sounded thrilling and different. It still does, without a doubt. But the subsequent appearance of more complete archival material makes it almost redundant when heard today.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Miles Davis has always been the kind of musician that has never been content in settling with just one genre. Often experimenting, and fusing musical approaches to create something fresh. The albums of Miles' Electric period contained music that is very abstract, amalgamating the ambient nature ... (read more)

Report this review (#2165048) | Posted by Trevere | Tuesday, March 12, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A stunning album, really superb, when I first heard it I was frankly impressed, is one of the albums that I heard recently and caused this great impression on me, his style, like the wine was improving, become better and better, the style was becoming more radical, more and more off from the roots o ... (read more)

Report this review (#251927) | Posted by Diego I | Friday, November 20, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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